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I can’t quite bear to add much commentary to this. Everything you need to know is in The name’s the thing, so read that first. [1] Essentially, my mother is on a lot of charity call lists. Many of these feature her marital name rather than her present name (some years ago she changed it back to the one she had growing up). She repeatedly asks the callers to change her name on their databases, but when they call again it hasn’t been done. Callers will often get defensive, be resistant to changing it and question whether she really wants to donate. She went through none of this rubbish when she changed her name upon marriage.

Here’s what I managed to write down from her side of the conversation the last time I was present during one of these telephone calls. It’s incomplete and probably inaccurate, but I did my best.

Well it matters to me, you do know who you are, but… it’s still my name, and it matters to me.
It’s not as simple as that, quite truly, I find it quite offensive. I’ve been told that my name is on a database, and they’d delete it and change it, but clearly-
As you have me twice on your system, and I do make donations with my correct name, why can’t you delete the incorrect name and stop calling me with that? [He says that he’s going to move on to the next call ‘if you don’t want to make a donation’.] It’s not as if you just want to go onto the next person, as though I’m not interested in donating.

With regard to the first sentence, she said later that he’d said that it didn’t matter what other people call you, as long as you know who you are. You know, in addition to interrupting her and arguing with her about her identity, name and charitableness. While asking her for money.

Some people are incredibly resistant to approaching women as having identities of their own. Any attempt at asserting something as simple as one’s own name is seen as an act of aggression. But we have a right to our own lives and being, and don’t ever forget it.

[1] The organisation I mention in that post, by the by, was my high school.

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